The Sound of Silence

Out of necessity a few months ago, I decided to convert all of my random video clips into the .mp4 format using one of the more popular converters.  This was to get back more hard drive space so that I could continue to shoot more worthless junk in the coming year.  DSLR video from all the cameras just takes up a lot of space, but with the latest compression, it would be much more universal and manageable.

In digging up some of the converted video files today I wondered why there wasn’t any audio in some of the clips.  Hit the volume up button several times before I realized my own goof.  Turns out I made a boneheaded mistake and the audio didn’t transcode with the video (never trust presets).  This was of course after I happily deleted all the original video files to get back precious disk space from 3 years worth of video.

You know…it was never this complicated in the world of film and prints and physical things.  I think back to old film photos, and how you just couldn’t get rid of them.  They survived being in wallets, they made the trip in the move from college to apartments to houses.  You just couldn’t eradicate that old film photo of you with the unflattering hair cut and clothes two sizes too big.  But these days all it takes is a keystroke, a button press, a hard drive crash, and proof of our memories and lives is gone.

I’ve never liked hearing myself in audio recordings, so I do see that I actually now have a bunch of silent movies that I can put my own soundtrack and dialogue to go with…but some of the clips I did want the audio.  Instead of hearing the sound of the piano from one of the best persons to have ever walked into my life, it’s now just silent.

It was just dumb on my part, not checking all the files again, just assuming the robots would take care of things, remix those pixels and waveforms of memories that I really hold dear.  It’s not the end of the world though, I can think of worse things crashing than hard drives and computers.

If anything this should remind me that it’s still best to print out photos, make physical things, give them, regardless of how they will be taken, at least we have a tangible record of the times that we lived in.  The river of information travels quite fast.  Today, you might be lucky enough to have your work as someone’s profile picture, but next day, nope, the search for personal identity continues.  And when the plug on that is pulled, then what?  Funny how even in futuristic science fiction movies the characters still hang on to physical prints.

A bit of a gut punch when I realized that there will be no audio to accompany most of the video clips from the past 3 years.  Oh well.  I still kept the originals of a few of the days that meant the most to me.  I guess I just kinda knew, that, and I just have this thing for hanging on to the past.


With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel.  I always liked naming my posts the titles of my favorite songs.

Posted in Photography, Writing.